Liz and I spent these last few days working on our contract. This isn’t the first contract that I have created for a project like this so I was familiar with the general contents and expectations for this assignment. I found the assignment to be overall very therapeutic in organizing my thoughts and energies. It felt so good to iron out the layout of the website and flesh out our mission and intentions! And nothing—I repeat NOTHING—makes me happier than a proper schedule for things. We may have been a little ambitious with our milestones but I feel like we got a pretty good idea for how and when we want things done. I am sure we will have to revisit and/or tweak our contract based on feedback, but the organization that accompanied this task was both welcomed and appreciated.
In regards to the immediate tasks that we have set for ourselves, Liz and I plan to reach out to the institutions that house information about the Blue Ridge Parkway by tomorrow afternoon. We the next assignment we have set due is a (near) completion of our Timeline JS (which I will do) and StoryMap JS (Liz’s project). Luckily, because of the information that I would like to include on my Timeline, much of my research can be conducted anywhere that I have a computer and internet access. I am imagining this timeline will consist mostly of newspaper articles that will be accessed by Newspapers.com. Fortune is once again in my favor as UNCA had purchased access North Carolina newspapers so I won’t even have to sign up for a free trial.
In addition to our About Us page, we have also created the pages that we believe will most likely be included on our website. I have organized them so all the subpages (topics that fall under a bigger umbrella topic) appear under the proper section of the website. For instance, Liz will be working on the “Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway” section. One subject that falls under this area is the involvement of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), so the CCC section will be a subpage under “Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway.” I also took the liberty of creating our “About Project” page and an Acknowledgement page… you know, so we can thank all the wonderful archives that are about to spend an excessive amount of time with us. So, without further ado, our contract:
Contract for Blue Ridge Parkway Website
This project will explore the connection between the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and migration through Western North Carolina. The main goal of our project is to explore the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway through the lens of migration. This means we will be researching the individuals who came to this area to help build the Parkway, the locals who were displaced or otherwise affected by the construction, and the tourist that have been attracted by this project. This will be done through a thorough examination of primary sources, and with the support of appropriate secondary sources. The secondary sources will be a combination of websites, books, and articles that will be found by both partners. Primary sources will include articles, government documents, oral histories, letters, pictures, etc. These items are located at a few various places, so multiple agencies will need to be contacted. Among these are the Western Regional Archives (WRA), Ramsey Library Special Collections, the Blue Ridge Parkway archives located across the street from the WRA, and may also include the National Parks Service and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
Our goal is to show the people of Western North Carolina how this area has been shaped by the Blue Ridge Parkway beyond the physical borders of it. This is also intended to be a gift to the National Parks Service to illustrate a piece of their history. We will explore migration through three main foci: the construction of the Parkway, the locals, and tourism. Each of these topics will be a separate page on our website, accessible through our menu. Each section will contain subpages that are also accessible via the menu or the parent-page. Some ideas we’ve had about sub-pages so far are pages on different responses from Politicians and Conservationists in regard to the construction of the Parkway, as well as different pages for the distinct groups of tourists that frequently visit this park (i.e. Leaf Lookers, Conservationists, Film Industry, and Cyclists). These subpages may change based on the availability of primary sources. We do not yet know how these may be effected. We will have a better idea once we begin visiting the archives.
Naturally, we will be using WordPress to create the actual website. We have decided to use the Activello theme by Colorlib. We felt it was a clean look that would give us more options for the layout and presentation of our sources and interpretation. We also liked the placement of the menu as a small, out-of-the-way entity at the top of the page. We already decided that we did not like the accent color of the menu (purple), so we changed it to “Blue Ridge blue.” At least that’s what we are calling it. We may use scanners and camera to take high resolution images of primary sources.
We plan on using Timeline JS to show the development of the Parkway. The timeline will display primary and/or secondary sources as the appropriate to the development of the Parkway. At this moment, we are considering using the Timeline to display newspaper articles pertaining to the construction of the Parkway. Again, depending on the amount of sources we find, this may change.
Another tool we will be utilizing is StoryMap JS. We are currently planning to use the StoryMap to illustrate when the various parts of the Parkway were completed (Construction began around 1937 and did not end until around 1987). Ideally, this StoryMap would tell a more interactive history of the building of the Parkway. This idea may change depending on the primary sources that are available on this topic.
Schedule of Milestones
- September 25th: Both members must establish contact with all community partners and archives that house sources to be included in project.
- September 30th: Kristen will have complete (or near complete) list of newspaper articles to be included on TimeLine JS. Images of all newspapers must be included. Liz will have complete list of locations that she will include on StoryMap JS. Images of all sources must be included.
- September 31st: If partners have not already visited at least two of the archives/organizations that house BRP documents, this must be done by today.
- October 3rd: Integrate our Timeline and StoryMap into the project site.
- October 5th: Complete and submit final contract.
- October 26th: Have basic structure of website set up, complete with project description/interpretation on “Home” page, description/interpretation on landing pages of each section on menu (“Construction,” “Locals,” and “Tourism”), near complete “Acknowledgments” page, possibly and “About Project” page, and description/interpretation on one to two subpages under each section of menu. This means we intend to have at least one subpage done under “Construction,” “Locals,” and “Tourism.”
- October 31st: Rough Draft of websites due by 4pm.
- November 9th: Gathering of Primary Sources to be completed. Finish interpretation of sources and construction of website pages.
- November 19th: Complete all pages, begin refining and proofreading.
- November 23rd: Add any finishing touches. Website should be ready for full launch by midnight. The week should be spent getting comfortable with site and preparing for final presentation.
- November 30th: Present website to the class.
- December 7th: Complete any additional final touches as recommended by class, professors, and Leah after presentations.
- December 11th: Final Website due.
Division of Labor
Both partners will contribute to the following pages: Home, Acknowledgments, and About Project. These pages will essentially describe the project as set forth by the class curriculum and professors and its relation to COPLAC (About Project), an introduction and overview of the subject chosen (Home), and acknowledgments of all community partners, archives, and individuals apart from the creators who contributed significantly to the creation of this website. The Home page will most likely include the timeline, which will be completed by Kristen.
Liz will be in charge of all information and research for the “Construction” section and all subsequent sections. As of right now Liz believes this section will be divided up into the following sections: Politicians, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and Conservationists. This section may also include the subpage about locals who worked on the construction of the Parkway. If this subpage ends up appearing under both sections, both partners will contribute to this page These topics may change and/or develop based on where primary sources lead the researcher. This section is also where the StoryMap would go.
Both Liz and Kristen will contribute to the “Tourism” section. This section will most likely have more topics under it, so the workload will be split as evenly as can be managed. As of right now both partners envision this section including the following topics or subpages: Leaf lookers, Conservationists and Naturalists, Film Industry, Cyclists, and a page about the amount of people who visit the BRP per year. These topics/subpages may change or develop based on where the primary sources lead the researchers.
Kristen will be in charge of all information and related research to the “Locals” section and all subsequent sections under “Locals.” At this point in time, she foresees this section including a page on the locals who worked on the construction of the BRP, those who were displaced by the placement of the Parkway, ways in which locals use the Parkway as a means of temporary migration, and how the local economy and culture was influenced by the BRP project. These sections may change or develop based on where the primary sources lead the researcher. The section about locals who helped with the construction may or may not be connected with “Construction of the Parkway” as well. If it ends up appearing under both sections, both partners will contribute to this page.